Jørgen Leth to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at IDFA

IDFA 2019. IDFA pays tribute to distinguished auteur Jørgen Leth at the upcoming doc fest. Also, a number of Danish titles have been announced so far for the festival, running from 20 November.

Every week in October, IDFA announces new titles for this year's edition taking place 20 November – 1 December. A total of five Danish films have so far been revealed, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award to Jørgen Leth for his extensive and versatile body of work.

Tribute to Jørgen Leth

IDFA's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the Danish documentarian for having "inspired generations of filmmakers with his strong auteur voice and fearless perspective on reality".

The 82-year-old director, poet, journalist, author, cycling commentator and much more has been a regular at IDFA over the years.

Jørgen Leth is renowned for a string of key works in Danish cinema since the early 1960s, from 'The Perfect Human' (1968) and 'Life in Denmark' (1972) to his 70s' cycling films 'Stars and Water Carriers' (1974) and 'A Sunday in Hell' (1977) and later classics like '66 Scenes from America' (1982), 'Haiti. Untitled' (1996), 'The Five Obstructions' (2003) with Lars von Trier and 'The Erotic Human' (2010) – and many more. 

The honorary award will be given during the festival. 

Fat Front in series about claiming your right

'Fat Front' by Louise Detlefsen and Louise Unmack Kjeldsen is selected for the non-competitive Frontlight series as one of twelve films touching on issues of equality and equal rights. 

The documentary follows a group of young Scandinavian women who have had enough of self-hatred and shame and proudly call themselves fat. They demand respect and recognition in a diet-fixated society while struggling with their own lack of self-worth 

'Fat Front' is produced by Hansen & Pedersen Film and Television. LevelK is handling international sales.

Strong titles fresh from Toronto

IDFA's latest announcement also includes Danish films in the non-competitive Best of Fests and Masters series.

Feras Fayyad's 'The Cave' is selected for Best of Fests, showing festival highlights from the past year. Fayyad's war doc from Syria won the Grolsch People's Choice Documentary Award at Toronto Film Festival and also received a strong response from the critics. An "intensely real and an ambitious, carefully wrought work of cinema", wrote The Hollywood Reporter, while IndieWire praised the film as a "frightening window into Syria's collapse".
'Love Child' by Eva Mulvad is selected for the auteur series Masters. Mulvad's portrayal of a family's journey from Iran to a better future was also commended at its world premiere in Toronto in September. "Eva Mulvad puts a human face on headline fodder — but it’s also an intimate, personal story of why people are forced to flee countries," said Rolling Stones.

Finally, 'Hunting for Hedonia' by Pernille Rose Grønkjær is also selected for Best of Fests. Premiering at CPH:DOX in March, the doc toured on to Toronto Hot Docs, Sheffield and Bergen film festivals.

Danish Documentary Production has produced all three titles.

IDFA 2019

IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, is the world's largest documentary film festival held annually since 1988.

Over the years, Danish film has been strongly represented at the festival, winning a total of 14 awards since 2001. See overview.

IDFA 2019 runs from 20 November to 1 December. The full programme will be announced on 23 October. See more at idfa.nl.

Danish films and filmmakers at  IDFA 2019

The festival will be announcing more titles over the coming weeks. Here is a summary of the Danish films and filmmakers announced so far (8 October):

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Jørgen Leth receives honorary award for his complete oeuvre


  • Fat Front by Louise Unmack Kjeldsen and Louise Detlefsen
    Produced by Malene Flindt Pedersen for Hansen & Pedersen Film og Fjernsyn

Best of Fests

  • The Cave by Feras Fayyad
    Produced by Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production
  • Hunting for Hedonia by Pernille Rose Grønkjær
    Produced by Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production


  • Love Child by Eva Mulvad
    Produced by Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production

Focus: The Villain

  • The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheimer 
    Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real


  • Khartoum Offside by Marwa Zein
    (Sudan, Danmark, Norge, Frankrig)
    Danish co-producer: Henrik Underbjerg for Stray Dog Productions
    Festival series: Best of Fests, Spotlight: Sudan
  • The Kingmaker by Lauren Greenfield
    (USA, Danmark)
    Danish co-producer: Sigrid Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production
    Festival series: Best of Fests, Focus: The Villain